Fellow Wisconsinites, our senior US senator has a big problem: he’s virtually impossible to get ahold of. Yesterday Senator Ron Johnson reversed the position he took during his reelection campaign, and came out in support of the Executive Order banning refugees and certain immigrants (from countries carefully selected to not make certain members of the executive branch less rich) (and intentionally selectively applied to Muslims). The senator then encouraged opponents to “Tell me what you disagree with.” Well I’d love to if I could ever get ahold of someone who could pass that on. I’ve been calling his offices a LOT since November, and I finally got through to an actual person at the Milwaukee office last week–a slightly rude one. If not for that encounter I couldn’t be 100% sure his office is not staffed by six cats that are paid to occasionally walk across his phone keys.
It’s a good day when I get through to his voicemail. For a while there his office just wasn’t emptying their voicemail. Yesterday I got a bunch of rings followed by a busy signal. It’s been a while since I’ve owned a land line, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how they work. I am so not alone in this, everyone I know here is having the same experience. My friend Cabell Gathman, an associate lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies here at UW, has suggested that whoever runs against Senator Johnson in 2022 should use as a campaign slogan, “Joe Schlobotnik: I’ll actually take your call.”
ETA: Another friend told me they called 25 times yesterday without getting through. Today was a good day because it only took six calls.
Senator Johnson does not want to hear what you disagree with. He doesn’t even want to hear if you agree. Based on my rough back-of-the-envelope calculations, this is a list of things you are more likely to do than get through to a staffer at Ron Johnson’s office:
- Win the lottery twice in one week
- Make out with Samira Wiley
- Crack an egg with two yolks on the day your future mother-in-law is visiting, and go on to poach it perfectly for her Eggs Florentine
- Wake up to find out you’ve metamorphosed into a rhinoceros beetle
- Wake up to find Dustin Diamond in bed next to you and immediately tell all your friends
- Pee your pants on live TV while auditioning for The Voice
- Survive a shark attack
- Be murdered by poisoned bikini wax
- Succeed in your attempt to reanimate Bea Arthur’s corpse
- Be a Latina paid the same as the average white man doing your job
So, Senator Johnson and staff, if you’re reading, please fix this problem. The senator’s constituents have a lot to say. Everybody else, keep trying. Democratically elected representatives should hear from the people they represent.